Exercise for People with High Blood Pressure

Frequent exercise is the easiest way to lower blood pressure and eliminate health risks associated with it. However if you have high blood pressure you must take care not to over achieve your workout goals as it is important for you to first neutralise the threat of high blood pressure. You must understand the needs of your body and work on it accordingly. It is more important to be regular than to be intensive while working out.

Usefulness

Exercising is extremely important to stay fit and also keep your blood pressure under control. It results in lower risk of heart attack, lesser strain on heart, reduction of bad cholesterol. It also helps in losing weight and building muscle mass. It also improves blood circulation thereby not letting blood clots form. Therefore you can avoid major health hazards through a properly planned workout routine.

Consult a doctor

Before you plan a workout regime make sure you consult your doctor to find out how much exercise is alright for your body. You must be aware of how long you can exercise, which exercises you must avoid, etc. Also ask what medication you are allowed during that period. Take regular pulse if your doctor suggests so. An ECG test run may indicate how much physical activity is harmless and adequate for you.

How to exercise

You must not overdo exercises at once. You can start with a thirty minute routine for 3-5 days a week, provided your medical conditions permit. It is not necessary to complete thirty minutes in one go, you can break it up into 2 3 time slots of 10 15 minutes each. You can also take a walk rather than exercise sometimes. Make sure you allow yourself a cooling period after a workout. Also choose activities you are fond of so that you stick to your regime. The activities could also include biking and swimming.

What exercises should be done

There are three basic types of exercises which include stretching, aerobic exercises and muscle strengthening exercises. Stretching prepares your muscles for a workout and it is important so that your muscles don’t over stress at once. Aerobic exercises include various forms of physical activity like bicycling, skiing, skating etc. Strengthening muscles include repeated contractions of muscles.

What exercises must be avoided

Strenuous activities should be avoided as they may hazardous to you in such medical condition. Exercises involving standing up quickly or chest pains etc should be avoided. Also it is advisable not to lift heavy weights or to do press ups.

Effectiveness

Generally exercise is said to be effective if it increases your heart rate. However in the case of a high blood pressure you must take care to avoid putting too much strain on your heart. You can do this by doing a proper warm up to build pace before beginning with the workout and ending with slow exercises to allow your body to cool down. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and talk test could help you measure the effectiveness of your workout.

Weight training

Though extensive weight training can be hazardous to your health condition, it is beneficial to lift light weights. It enhances the metabolism of your body. Therefore for every pound of muscle you increase, you burn additional calories making your workout more effective. However you must be careful not to overdo it or lift heavy weights. Work on muscle groups like chest muscles, biceps, triceps etc.

Sports

You can keep your blood pressure under control by indulging in your favourite sports. This would make your workout more appealing and you won’t be tempted to skip it. Football has been found to be very effective for blood pressure patients. Not only it helps in normalising blood pressure levels but at the same time it reduces the risk of a stroke as well. Other sports like cycling have also proved to be very effective.

Listen to your body

You must be aware of your physical capacity especially during the initial period. Overdoing workout can prove more harmful than good. Learn to perceive your comfort level and plan your exercises accordingly.

Alcohol

Excess consumption of alcohol can prove to be harmful to your body. More than two beverages in a day can be a cause of concern. Also do not drink on an empty stomach. Make sure you eat along with an alcoholic beverage to ensure that you drink less. Tomato juice is beneficial for high blood pressure patients, so you can have a cocktail with tomato juice.

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